Matt Riddle def. Punishment Martinez
Martinez's NXT signing wasn't confirmed all too long ago, and already he's debuting on NXT TV. That's an encouraging sign for his future, and I honestly have faith that they'll utilize him correctly on the brand (if only for his size). Sure, he lost in his debut match, but so did Kyle O'Reilly, Bobby Fish and many others. The important thing is that he had a strong showing and impressed the audience with his skill set. Afterward, Riddle was ambushed by Kassius Ohno, so a rematch between them is inevitable.
Forgotten Sons def. Raul Mendoza and Humberto Carrillo
Forgotten Sons haven't done a ton for me in the past, but this just might have been their best outing yet. Granted, Mendoza and Carrillo had a ton to do with that because they're a terrific tandem and are a blast to watch in the ring, but Forgotten Sons more than held their own and showed that they are worth the investment. NXT has a very well-rounded tag team division at the moment and it's cool to see all of them getting an equal amount of attention.
NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler def. Dakota Kai (Non-title)
These two have had a handful of matches against each other this year and have worked well together every time. Thus, I fully expected this to be an entertaining outing and they delivered. Baszler winning was never in doubt, but the ultimate underdog Kai put up a hell of a fight and looked like a credible threat to Baszler in defeat. Io Shirai came to Kai's aid post-match, and I assume Kairi Sane wasn't there due to recently being diagnosed with some sickness (she should be cleared to compete soon, though). On a related note, a Fatal 4-Way will be held in three weeks to determine Baszler's opponent for TakeOver: Phoenix, and Bianca Belair is the only one confirmed so far.
Aleister Black and Johnny Gargano Interrupted NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa
Per usual, Ciampa was a glorious asshole during his promo by recapping his strong 2018 before being interrupted by Black. Of course, Black is still owed a championship rematch since he never received it over the summer, and then Gargano had to butt because of his unfinished business with Black. That led to Ciampa causing them to set their sights on each other and declare that they fight in a Steel Cage match. This was a strong segment all around, and if their initial encounter at TakeOver: WarGames II was any indication, Black vs. Gargano inside a steel cage should be stellar.
This was the first fresh show to be taped since TakeOver: WarGames II and I thought the follow-up from the event was solid. The women's division is wasting no time in moving forward with a new title program, Black vs. Gargano is confirmed for a future episode while Ciampa vs. Black for the NXT Championship is set for TakeOver: Phoenix, Forgotten Sons returned to action and appear to be on the ascent again, and several feuds were furthered (specifically Riddle vs. Ohno after the opener). NXT continues to fire on all cylinders and the one hour shows are so easy to watch and digest each week.
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